Friday, October 25, 2013

Everything has changed — or has it?

I need to get my ass in gear for the upcoming Big Giant Pseudology Conference, and my abstract has become a stumbling block.  My (semi-)brilliant idea for a presentation that I concocted last winter is now out of date, in some ways.  Research Country's irritating habit of not freezing in historical time Brigadoon-style means that some of the assumptions that drove my abstract are no longer factually accurate.  (Although they were when I wrote it, I swear to you!) 

BUT...has everything truly changed?

(Ominous and portentous rumblings on soundtrack)

The key observation to draw out in my presentation should really be that my original analytical point is even truer now than it was then, even though some of the surrounding historical architecture has altered somewhat.  The cast of characters has changed a bit, and there's been a classic reversal of fortunes narrative in the works, but the way that people think about Important Research Stuff has not really changed at all.  I'm using this state of affairs to write a paper that offers the same analysis while cleverly swapping out a number of concrete examples, or shifting the emphasis from one bunch of stuff to another.  It isn't a bait-and-switch, folks, it's just cutting-edge research!

I kind of knew this before, but it actually didn't become crystal-clear to me until I sat down and thought it out here, writing this blog post.  I guess I should go and write that paper, now that my thinking is clear(er).  Thanks for serving as my sounding-board!


  1. Research Country's irritating habit of not freezing in historical time Brigadoon-style

    Yeah, man, what's up with that? I had a whole post-doc dedicated to RC's constitutional process. If you'll excuse me while I set that on fire...

    Good luck being a Pseudologist! Do y'all interview at conferences?

    1. We definitely interview at conferences, if we're lucky enough to be invited. So far, my career demonstrates absolutely no correlation between prelim conference interviews and actual job offers, so I'm not so hung up on it at the moment.

      And my dear colleague, setting previously planned documents on fire *is* the constitutional process in RC.

  2. I am so totally curious about what you are planning to do, given my own personal interest in RC. Can I see a copy of a presentation or paper once you decide what you'll do? :)